The Core Principles of the Agile Manifesto

Agile project management is becoming a staple of effective, modern project management, and the Agile Manifesto helps agile project management teams apply agile processes.

The manifesto also defines 12 core principles, which you need to understand.

1. Satisfying Customers Early Is the Heart of the Agile Manifesto

Customers should be satisfied as early as possible in the project. This sets expectations, which keeps teams and stakeholders working together.

2. Welcome Change Requirements

Changes in project scope are not normally embraced, but the Agile Manifesto advises project teams to embrace change requirements. This encourages out-of-the-box thinking and builds upon agile processes.

3. Break Down Big Projects

Always looking at the big picture makes focusing on smaller processes more difficult. However, the Agile Manifesto advises teams to focus on small, individual project parts. As a result, multiple functional parts of a project result in a positive big picture without the added stress.

4. Have Teams and Stakeholders Meet Daily

Teams and stakeholders should meet daily. This prevents oversights and gives teams information on change requirements as soon as possible.

5. Self-Organized Teams Lead to the Best Work

When teams are formed of their own volition and self-management tactics are used, the best work is produced. Ultimately, these teams are more satisfied and likely to enjoy working together.

6. Trust Your Team

Trust the different parts of your team to fulfill their responsibilities.

7. Provide a Motivational Environment

Your team members also need a motivational environment to produce the best results. Create incentives, and recognize the accomplishments of team members, which will serve to build the environment’s motivational value.

8. Measure Progress by Completed Work

In agile project management, all progress is measured by the amount of completed work when compared to the projected amount of completed work.

9. Maintain a Constant Pace Indefinitely

Project team members have a way of working in excess when time runs out. However, the Agile Manifesto encourages teams to work at a constant pace indefinitely. Furthermore, normal working hours and speed reduce the incidence of errors.

10. Deliver on Specific Parts of the Project Quickly

Each portion of the project should be completed as quickly as possible. However, the quality of each portion should not be sacrificed in favor of reducing time requirements.

11. Seek Excellence in All Responsibilities

Every responsibility should be fulfilled with excellence in mind. Always strive for the best possible outcome because even if you fall short of excellence, your project will probably still meet minimum requirements.

12. Keep Things as Simple as Possible

Since the Agile Manifesto allows for changes in project scope, you need to avoid making projects more complicated than necessary. Identify the fastest and simplest way of accomplishing goals, but always maintain the focus on excellence in each goal.

By learning to apply these 12 core principles of the Agile Manifesto, you can start using agile project management processes today.

Key Takeaway

  • Meet expectations early, and accommodate minor changes in scope.
  • Break down projects, and keep the breakdown simple.
  • Use self-organized teams, and have teams meet with stakeholders daily.
  • Create a motivational environment, and maintain a constant pace, which leads to delivery of project portions quickly.
  • Measure progress by completed work, and always shoot for excellent outcomes in all activities.